Founder, Bridging Education and Art Together
Jun 16, 2022
In 2009, Greenpoint resident James Kim was asked to DJ a school dance at the Lavelle School for the Blind. Little did he know the event would inspire the next decade of his life.
Kim saw firsthand the power of music flowing through these kids and immediately wanted to use his knowledge and skills as a DJ and event marketer to bring world-renowned beatboxers such as Taylor McFerrin together to make a real difference. It’s 2022, and BEAT (Bridging Education and Art Together), the nonprofit he started to empower the visually impaired with beatboxing, is entering its second decade.
“With beatboxing, students don’t need instruments or sheet music,” Kim told Slate. “They’re learning how to be music.”
In a YouTube video sponsored by Nokia Bell Labs, footage shows students beatboxing and having the time of their lives. Everyone in the room is beaming with excitement and wonder.
This year BEAT will launch an app called Alphabeat (currently in beta testing) that will use beatboxing as an alternative to traditional speech language therapy.
Kim’s passion for and devotion to the community through the arts has led him to co-produce R-16, a South Korean b-boy competition. He is also the emcee of King of the Wing, the Caribbean’s largest food festival, which benefits the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum.